This Week in Religion: 10/27/17

The state of New Jersey recently sued the town of Mahwah over two ordinances that illegally targeted a Jewish community, the state said. According to the lawsuit, Mahwah allegedly violated New Jersey’s Green Acres Act by banning out-of-state residents from its parks. The state said that the township’s ordinance that limited public park use to state residents and a ban on the building of an eruv, a religious boundary created by placing white plastic piping on utility poles, targeted the Jewish community living in nearby New York. Mahwah created the ban in July after receiving complaints of overcrowding at parks and their use by the Orthodox Jewish community. Many Orthodox Jews consider the eruv necessary to allow activities such as carrying keys and pushing strollers on the Sabbath. Township officials said the markers violated laws that prohibit signs on trees, rocks and utility poles. Two New York residents and the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association filed the federal lawsuit in August, saying Mahwah had violated their constitutional and civil rights with the ban on the religious boundary.

 

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STUDY SAYS

Belief in God not necessary to have good morals for majority of Americans

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, most Americans say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. The recent study showed that 56 percent of Americans say that a belief in God is not necessary, compared to 49 percent in 2011.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working for Your Good” by Joel Osteen

All of us will go through dark times that we don’t understand: a difficulty with a friend, an unfair situation at work, a financial setback, an unexpected illness, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. Those types of experiences are part of the human journey. But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s important that we keep a positive perspective. Joel Osteen writes that if we stay in faith and keep a good attitude when we go through challenges, we will not only grow, but we will see how all things work together for our good. Through practical applications and scriptural insight, “Blessed in the Darkness” focuses on how to draw closer to God and trust Him when life doesn’t make sense.

— FaithWords

THE WORD

Pentateuch: The Greek term for the first five books in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for the same books is Torah.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Nepal is:

— Hindu: 81.3 percent

— Buddhist: 9 percent

— Muslim: 4.4 percent

— Kirant: 3.1 percent

— Christian: 1.4 percent

— Other: 0.5 percent

— Unspecified: 0.2 percent

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